Saturday, April 7, 2018

April 8 Radio History

➦In 1961…Britain's BBC Radio banned the song "100 Pounds of Clay" by Gene McDaniels because it has a reference to women being created from building materials, which the network considered to be blasphemous.

➦In 1964…In Studio A at Hitsville U.S.A. in Detroit, the Supremes recorded "Where Did Our Love Go," which became their first #1 single, and the first of their five consecutive chart-topping singles. The songwriting and production team of Holland-Dozier-Holland had originally composed the song and prepared the instrumental track for the Marvelettes to record, but they rejected the song thinking it was childish.

➦In 1981...Larry "Snortin" Norton from WGRQ-FM, Buffalo, found a place in the Guiness Book of World Records for the most consecutive hours on-the-air. He went 20 days, four hours.

➦In 1985…Composer J. Fred Coots died at age 87. Coots offered "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" to Eddie Cantor who used it on his radio show in November 1934 and it became an instant hit. The morning after the show there were orders for 100,000 copies of the song's sheet music, and by Christmas, sales had exceeded 400,000.

➦In 1987...WFIL-AM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, ended it's run as "Famous 56".

Capturing The True Sound Of Famous 56! Click Here To Listen.

In February 1964, Triangle moved the WFIL stations to a new state-of-the-art broadcast center at the corner of City Line and Monument Avenues in Philadelphia, from which WPVI continued to broadcast.

Starting on September 18, 1966, WFIL began playing "Top 40" rock and roll. It quickly became the most successful non-RKO "Boss Radio" formatted station, known locally as "The Pop Music Explosion".

The original line up of air personalities, or "Boss Jocks" were scheduled as follows:
  • 6-10am: Chuck Browning
  • 10am-2pm: Jay Cook ("Captain Jay Cook")
  • 2-6pm: Jim Nettleton ("Diamond Jim" Nettleton)
  • 6-10pm: George Michael ("King George" Michael)
  • 10pm-2am: Long John Wade
  • 2-6am: Dave Parks ("Dave the Rave" Parks)
  • Weekends: Frank Kingston Smith

WFIL announcers heard in later years of the Top 40 era included Dr. Don Rose, Jim O'Brien(who later also became a WPVI-TV reporter and station personality), Dan Donovan, J. J. Jeffrey, Dick Heatherton, Tom Dooley, "Tiny" Tom Tyler, Mitch "K.C." Hill, "Big" Ron O'Brien, Kris Chandler, Geoff Richards, Joel Denver, Brother Lee Love (Alan Smith), and Banana Joe Montione.

The format evolved into an adult contemporary sound in the fall of 1977. At some point after that, the WFIL studios were relocated to Domino Lane in the Roxborough section of Philadelphia; they moved into the building of FM station WUSL, which WFIL owner LIN Broadcasting had acquired in late 1976. Growing competition from FM stations in this period did serious damage to WFIL's ratings. In September 1981 country music was tried, but this failed to reverse the downward trend. The station switched to an "oldies" format in September 1983, called "The Boss is Back," with a new line up of "Boss Jocks," playing the hits of 1955 through 1973.

This format lasted until April 8, 1987, when new owner WEAZ Inc. discontinued locally originated music programming in favor of Transtar's "Oldies Channel," a satellite-delivered service. The end of live programming was marked by a production piece consisting of a portion of the song American City Suite by Terry Cashman and Tommy West interspersed with old WFIL airchecks. The "Epilogue to WFIL" was produced by Charlie Mills, who at the time was working cross-town at WPEN, and had been an avid fan of WFIL during his teen years.

Its 5000-watt transmitter enabled its signal to be heard as far away at times as Staten Island, the southernmost borough of New York City. During its top 40 years, WFIL also consistently showed strongly in the ratings books in nearby Wilmington, Delaware, where it has an excellent signal. In addition, WFIL was a popular listening choice in Reading and Allentown, both in Pennsylvania.

Today, WFIL is locally co-owned with Salem's WNTP (990 AM). Interestingly, WNTP is the former WIBG. WIBG was WFIL's main rock 'n roll rival in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The studios, offices and transmitters of both stations are located at the former WIBG complex on Ridge Pike in Whitemarsh Township, Pennsylvania.

➦In 1989…After 33 years on ABC, the legendary TV dance show "American Bandstand" moved to the USA network on cable, with David Hirsch replacing Dick Clark as host. The show was cancelled six months later.

➦In 2004...Clear Channel Communications fired Howard Stern from their stations after FCC regulators proposed fining the company $495,000 for airing the shock jock’s sexually explicit broadcasts.   Since he was syndicated by Infinity Broadcasting his programs continued uninterrupted.

➦In 2004...New York Radio personality, Gene Klavan, died at the age of 79. Klavan was best known for being one-half of the succesful morning show, "Klavan & Finch". The program ran for many years on WNEW 1130 AM.

Gene Klavan and Dee Finch
Gene Klavan was first as half of the radio show “Klavan and Finch” and then as a solo performer, brought slicing wit, a knack for voices and peppery irreverence to New York morning radio audiences for 25 years.

From 1952 to 1968, Mr. Klavan was the comic half of Klavan and Finch, heard on WNEW, then one of the leading AM radio stations in New York. With Dee Finch as straight man, Mr. Klavan changed into the voices of wacky characters like Trevor Traffic, Mr. Nat, Sy Kology, Victor Verse and Emilio Percolator. The sound of a slamming door signaled a character’s arrival.

Finch retired in 1968 and Mr. Klavan continued the show alone as “Klavan in the Morning.” In 1977 he moved to WOR-AM and left radio in 1980. Finch died in 1983.

Report: Radio Makes Top 5 As Local Ad Platform

Hubbard's All News WTOP 103.5 FM Washington, DC, is the estimated top revenue-generation station during 2017, taking in $67.8 million in ad revenues as the overall industry over-the-air ad revenue stayed relatively flat, according to BIA Kelsey.

The radio industry reported a 9.7% percent increase in online revenues, compared with a slight decline in over-the-air income of 2.0 percent. This combined to cause a 0.2% drop from 2016 to end the year at $13.87 billion, which placed local radio in the fifth position ad revenue-wise. Direct mail, television, newspaper, mobile local ad platforms were first through fourth respectively.

Although still important players in their local markets, local radio stations are facing an unprecedented number of new audio entertainment and information sources, including many that are unregulated. It’s an aggressive environment that competes for audiences with local radio.

In terms of station performance, the top local radio stations from 2016 continued to be successful in 2017. The list of the top ten billers remained the same with only a few slight changes in the order although the top three remained the same – WTOP, Washington, DC; KIIS, Los Angeles, CA; and WHTZ, New York, NY.

The fact that the top billing radio stations remained the same year-over-year is a testament to the position that these radio stations have in their local markets. They provide the local news, information, and entertainment that continue to attract substantial audiences that advertisers want to reach.

Chicago Radio: WBMX Taps Ed Lover for Mornngs

Entercom has announced the launch of “The Ed Lover Morning Show,” on WBMX 104.3 Jams.

Industry veteran Ed Lover will host the station’s debut morning show along with lifelong Chicagoan Jennifer Farina, known as “Jen BT.” The show will air weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. CT beginning on Thursday, April 12.

“Ed Lover is as smooth as his name and we’re looking forward to having him take the helm of mornings on Chicago’s #1 station for throwbacks,” said Jimmy de Castro, Senior Vice President and Market Manager, Entercom Chicago. “His deep connection and knowledge of classic hip-hop and R&B along with his energy and drive will help Chicagoans start their mornings on the right note.”

“It is my honor and privilege to be the new morning voice of 104.3 Jams,” stated Ed. “I promise to bring laughter and fun to the city of Chicago. I can’t wait to immerse myself into the Windy City.”

Ed Lover is a Hip Hop Hall of Famer who co-hosted MTV’s “Yo! MTV Raps,” with Doctor Dre, hosted the nationally syndicated “The Morning Show,” with Ed, Lisa, and Dre on New York’s Hot 97, and most recently hosted the syndicated “The Ed Lover Show.”

WBMX 104.3 FM (4.1 Kw) Red=Local Coverage Area
Jennifer Farina is a Chicago native who held the Assistant Program Director role at WNUA-FM, as well as the Programming Assistant role at iHeart Chicago. Her work also includes voice-overs in the Chicago market. Jennifer most recently worked at the not-for-profit Community and Economic Development Association of Cook County, Inc. (CEDA).

Report: Future Of The Denver Post In Doubt

The Denver Post issued what could only be described as a cry for help on Friday, publishing an editorial pleading with its hedge fund owners to support the iconic city paper. The piece also informed readers of impending layoffs, according to The Wrap.

“At The Denver Post on Monday, more than two dozen reporters, editors, photographers, videographers, page designers, digital producers and opinion staff will walk out the door. Our marching orders are to cut a full 30 by the start of July,” read the editorial titled, “As Vultures Circle the Denver Post Must be Saved.”

“These heartbreaking instructions raise the question: Does this cut, which follows so many in recent years that our ranks have shriveled from more than 250 to fewer than 100 today, represent the beginning of the end for the Voice of the Rocky Mountain Empire?” the editorial asks.

The paper is owned by Alden Global Capital, hedge fund specializing in distressed assets. Only last month, the paper announced that they would have to part ways with 30 employees.

The paper’s editorial came with a haunting image of past and present employees, denoting former staffers in black silhouette.

KEEP READING: Who will step up and save The Denver Post? Click Here

Mid-Size, Small TV Stations Outperform Newspaper Websites

Mid-sized and small market TV stations and related websites have higher news consumption than newspapers or other media-rated sites, with bigger markets seeing newspapers on top, according to a new study.

Among 37 medium-sized and smaller markets -- representing a market size of 25 to 205 -- television websites were first, according to research from the Knight Foundation.

According to MediaPost, the breakdown of daily site visitors by medium is: TV, 52%; newspapers, 38%; pure-play local online, 3%; public radio/TV, 2%; and commercial radio 1%.

In 22 bigger TV station markets, market size one through 24 -- which included Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, San Francisco, Houston, Atlanta, and Philadelphia -- newspaper websites came out on top.

The breakdown of daily site visitors by medium is: newspapers, 54%; TV, 41%; public radio/TV, 1%; commercial radio, 0.4%; and  pure-play local online, 1%.

Knight says it did not include New York and Washington, D.C. in these results because together, those markets have three major national newspapers that would have altered results.

Sandberg: Facebook Not A Surveillance Operation

Facebook plans to make users who want to keep their personal data away from advertisers — by demanding they pay for the privilege, the company’s second in command, Sheryl Sandberg, revealed on Friday.

“We have different forms of opt-out. We don’t have an opt-out at the highest level,” the Facebook chief operating officer said in an interview on NBC’s “Today.”

“That would be a paid product.”

The NYPost reports the 48-year-old billionaire’s stunning announcement came days after Facebook admitted that the private information of as many as 87 million users was leaked to data firm Cambridge Analytica, which worked on President Trump’s 2016 election campaign.

And don’t expect this to be the company’s last privacy scandal, Sandberg added.

“I’m not going to sit here and say that we’re not going to find more,” she said, “because we are.”

Sandberg admitted Facebook only recently began taking additional steps to secure user data, despite the leak first being discovered in December 2015. The site’s officials, she explained, were led to believe at the time that Cambridge Analytica deleted the harvested data on its own.

Sandberg denied that Facebook is a “surveillance operation” that turns its users into products by selling their data to advertisers.

“We don’t pass any individual information back to the advertiser,” she said.

To which interviewer Savannah Guthrie shot back, “You don’t have to pass it because you collect all the information and then you target the ads for the advertiser.”

“That’s right, and that’s a very good service,” Sandberg replied, stressing that it was for “small businesses.”

Feds To Compile Database Of Journalists, Media Influencers

The Department of Homeland Security posted a contract request this week for "Media Monitoring Services," which will compile a database of hundreds of thousands of journalists, bloggers and "media influencers" for the federal government.

After an outcry on social media, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman tweeted "this is nothing more than the standard practice of monitoring current events in the media."

According to CBS News, the work request from DHS seeks a firm that has the ability to monitor up to 290,000 global news sources; ability to track media coverage in up to 100 languages and the ability to "track online, print, broadcast, cable, radio, trade and industry publications, local sources, national/international outlets, traditional news sources, and social media."

The work request also seeks the ability to build lists of journalists based on beat, location, outlet type/size and journalist role. Creating an online "media influence database" is also included.

DHS spokesman Tyler Q. Houlton tweeted that "despite what some reporters may suggest," this is "standard."

"Any suggestion otherwise is fit for tin foil hat wearing, black helicopter conspiracy theorists," Houlton wrote.

NYC Radio: President Talks With Bernie&Sid On WABC

President Donald Trump spoke exclusively to “Bernie & Sid In The Morning” on Friday morning on 77 WABC Radio New York.

The President, speaking with his long-time friend Bernard McGurik and Sid Rosenberg, touched on everything from trade, to the economy, to baseball, and discussed whether or not he would attend the annual White House Correspondents Dinner. President Trump also congratulated the duo on the debut of their new morning show.

Alpha Media Promotes Mike Hartel

Mike Hartel
Alpha Media names Mike Hartel, EVP of the Mid-Atlantic Region.

He will oversee Columbia, SC, Fredericksburg, VA, Hagerstown-Chambersburg, PA, Bluefield, WV, Dayton, OH and Canton, OH. He will also be working on special company revenue-oriented projects.

Hartel is a 25-year veteran in the broadcast industry and most recently was the Regional Vice President of Alpha Media’s Mid-Atlantic Division including Columbia, SC, Fredericksburg, VA, Hagerstown-Chambersburg, PA, and Bluefield, WV in addition to serving as the Market Manager of Columbia, SC. Prior to joining Alpha Media, Mike spent twelve years as a VP/General Manager with the Curtis Media Group in Raleigh, NC and was instrumental in the rapid growth of the group during that time frame, as well as launching Curtis Media’s Digital Division.

Mike also spent six years as a General Sales Manager with Clear Channel Radio in Raleigh and started his career as an Account Executive with Katz Media in New York City.

Alpha Media CEO/President, Bob Proffitt commented on the announcement, “Mike has demonstrated leadership skills surpassing our expectations from day one of joining the company, and he has the unique ability to inspire and mentor those around him. I’m delighted to promote him into this role working side by side with our other regional EVP’s; Bill McElveen, Larry Bastida and George Pelletier.”

“I’m thrilled with Mike’s promotion to Executive Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region! Since joining Alpha four years ago, Mike has played an increasingly important role on our senior management team. His passion, enthusiasm and knowledge of our industry are remarkable and I’m excited that Mike’s outstanding leadership abilities are being recognized in this promotion,” added Bill McElveen, Executive Vice President of the Eastern Region.

San Antonio Radio: 'The Hardline' Off Air At KZDC

As of Thursday, “The Hardline with Ari & Chance,” which ran from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a little more than two years on KZDC 1250 AM / 94.5 FM ESPN, has been replaced by two national ESPN shows, according to the San Antonio Express-News.

For the 11 a.m. hour, ESPN’s 9 a.m. show “Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz” was extended, and “The Stephen A Smith Show,” featuring Smith of ESPN TV and radio, now runs from noon to 2 p.m.

Asked what happened, Temkin explained in a Twitter message: “We were sent an email (Wednesday) from our bosses at around 1:30 p.m. ... to meet in the conference room and we were told we were being let go after the show.

“From what David and I were told it was a budget cut. Since they are going national now in our time slot, I’d think they’ll only have one local show for the time being,” he added.

That one show appears to be “The Blitz with Jason & Rob,” starring San Antonio hosts Jason Minnix and Rob Thompson, which airs evenings from 4 to 7 p.m. on KZDC.

On Thursday, Temkin wrote this on Twitter: “We took a lot of risks. We had a lot of fun. We had some high highs and low lows. You taught me a lot about myself. You were a mentor. I’m proud of the show we did. Thank you for taking the journey with me @DavidChancellor.”

“Lost a show, found one of my best friends. As we like to say ‘I’m all set,’” Chancellor, who also is a longtime sportscaster on WOAI-TV, tweeted.

WWO To Cover The ACM Awards For Radio

The 53rd ACM Awards take place on Sunday, April 15, 2018, from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will broadcast LIVE at 8:00 PM ET/PT on the CBS Television Network.

Westwood One and Cumulus Media are the official national radio partners for the 53rd Academy of Country Music Awards and have a comprehensive array of special programming and exclusive content to celebrate Country Music’s Party of the Year.

Westwood One will welcome more than 25 of the top Country stations in America to its star-studded Westwood One Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards, which takes place during rehearsals and event night. Over 90 top Country artists will be engaging with stations and listeners.

Westwood One, through its partnership with the Academy of Country Music and dick clark productions, will also create exclusive ACM branded long-form and short-form content leading up to and following the awards, as well as local and national promotions sending winners to the Academy of Country Music Awards and the events surrounding Country Music’s Party of the Year. Special events include:
  • Two hour ACM Nomination Special, hosted by ACM Award-winner Old Dominion, airing Saturday, April 7 from 10 pm to Midnight as part of NASH Nights Live. Air dates Saturday April 7 or Sunday April 8, from 6 am to Midnight.
  • ACM Radio Row Remote – Friday, April 13, from 12 noon to 4 pm PT and Saturday, April 14, from 10 am to 4 pm PT, backstage at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.  
  • Five hour ACM Night Of Event Coverage – Sunday, April 15, from 7 pm to Midnight ET
  • One-hour ACM Red Carpet, hosted by Elaina Smith
  • Three-hour ACM Broadcast Companion, hosted by Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith
  • One-hour ACM Winner Wrap Up Show, hosted by Shawn Parr and Elaina Smith
Westwood One Backstage at the Academy of Country Music Awards takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV

April 7 Radio History

➦In 1897...gossip columnist/broadcaster Walter Winchell was born in Minneapolis.

He was the first to break the journalistic taboo against exposing the private lives of public figures, permanently altering the shape of journalism and celebrity. He broke into radio in 1930, and two years later had his own weekly quarter hour, the Jergens Journal, on the NBC Blue network (which became ABC.) “Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America and all the ships at sea.”  The Journal, gossipy news mixed with his opinion, was on the air for most of the next 30 years.  Later his star would brighten for a new generation when he narrated the TV series The Untouchables.

He died a recluse of prostate cancer Feb. 20 1972 at age 74.

➦In 1908...orchestra conductor, arranger and composer Percy Faith was born in Toronto.

He began by playing music for silent films in the city’s movie houses, later turning to arranging and composing when his hands were severely burned in an accident. After a stint at the C-B-C from 1933 to 40, Faith moved to the U-S and became an arranger-conductor for Columbia Records. He worked with Tony Bennett and other singers, plus his own orchestra and chorus. His “Theme From a Summer Place” won the 1960 Grammy for Record of the Year.

Percy Faith died Feb 9 1976 at age 67.

➦In 1915...Billie Holliday, probably the greatest jazz singer ever, was born Ellinore Harris in Baltimore. Her greatest recordings — “Strange Fruit,” “God Bless the Child” and “Yesterdays” — were made in 1939 and ’40.  Holliday was jailed for a narcotics offence in 1948, and died in a New York hospital of liver failure July 17, 1959 while facing another possession charge. The 1972 film “Lady Sings the Blues” is based on her life.

➦In 1927
...The first official demonstration of television was presented at the AT&T Bell Telephone Laboratories auditorium in New York City. The live picture and voice of then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover were transmitted over telephone lines from Washington, D.C. to New York

➦In 1956…The CBS Radio Network debuted the first regularly scheduled, nationally broadcast rock 'n' roll show, "Rock 'n' Roll Dance Party," with Alan Freed as host.

Jim, Marian Jordon 1937
➦In comedienne Marian Jordan lost her battle with cancer at age 62. For nearly 30 years she played the wife opposite her husband Jim Jordan on NBC’s hit comedy show “Fibber McGee & Molly.”

Fibber McGee & Molly broadcast 1937

➦In 1967...KMPX-FM, San Francisco unveiled what became known as the "Progressive Rock" format on Radio.

On December 10, 1959, the station, owned by San Francisco businessman Franklin Mieuli, signed on at 106.9 MHz with the KPUP call letters. In July 1960, the call letters were changed to KHIP and the station aired jazz music programming. Mieuli sold KHIP on July 1, 1962 to Leon Crosby, who had previously owned KHYD in Hayward.

Under Leon Crosby's ownership, the station began operating in multiplex stereo and the call letters were changed to KMPX (for "MultiPleX") the following month. Soon after, Crosby gained authorization by the FCC to increase the station's power from the original 37,000 watts to 80,000 watts. The transmitter was in Marin County on Wolfback Ridge above Sausalito.

By mid-1964, KMPX was airing a middle of the road music format. As the money-strapped station struggled, by 1966 the schedule became dominated by various foreign language and other brokered programs.

KMPX Staff Photo May 1967
Though KMPX's daytime schedule was heavy with ethnic programming, the midnight-6 AM slot was mostly open. On February 12, 1967, on-air personality Larry Miller was given the shift, where he played his preferred folk rock music whenever a foreign language show was not scheduled. But even with this impediment and the station's high-end-of-the-dial position, word spread that "rock and roll is on FM".

Tom Donahue
A month later, Tom Donahue, a former well-known local Top 40 disc jockey on KYA, fledgling record label owner and concert promoter, was looking for an opportunity to do something unique on the radio. According to his then-girlfriend (and future wife) Raechel's recollection, mentioned in Jim Ladd's book Radio Waves, after spending a night listening to The Doors' first album at home, Donahue wondered why radio stations weren't playing it.   He soon started calling around town to local stations on the less-desirable FM dial. When he found that KMPX's phone was disconnected, he decided to approach Crosby with his plan, as he felt the station had nothing to lose.  Donahue proposed to take over some of KMPX's programming and replace the brokered foreign-language shows with freeform album-based rock music, declaring, "no jingles, no talkovers, no time and temp, no pop singles."  Advertisers would come in the form of local businesses serving the local hippie and Haight-Ashbury communities. As Donahue was a well-known and respected person in local radio, Crosby hired him.

On Friday, April 7, 1967, Donahue went on the air at KMPX for the first time, working from 8 PM to midnight, leading into Miller's show. The station's programming evolved over the weeks and months that followed, and Donahue sought out air personalities who fit what he envisioned for the format. Early staffers included Edward Bear (1967 aircheck: Click Here), Dusty Street, and even future actor Howard Hesseman. Donahue's rock music format expanded to full-time on August 6, 1967, as the last of the foreign-language program contracts expired. The station at the time employed an unheard-of all-female studio engineer staff. The presentation of music on the station stood in stark contrast to most other stations of the day. Instead of a hit music-dominated playlist, KMPX played more album cuts, local, emerging and cutting-edge artists, and a wide mix of genres such as rock, blues, jazz and folk music. Some of the music played in the Spring of 1967 included Jefferson Airplane's album Surrealistic Pillow, the first Grateful Dead album, Jimi Hendrix's Are You Experienced and The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, which KMPX played uninterrupted in its entirety.

Today 106.9 FM simulcasts the All-News format of KCBS 740 AM.

➦In 1972..Toronto radio-TV host Al Boliska, whose unpredictabilty made him a breakfasttime star on first 1050 CHUM and then CKEY 1010 AM, choked to death on his own vomit at the much too young age of 39.

➦In 1976...Broadcaster/author/syndicated newspaper columnist Mary Margaret McBride, a popular radio interview show host on various networks for more than four decades, died at the age of 76.

McBride first worked steadily in radio for WOR in New York City, starting in 1934. This daily women's-advice show, with her persona as "Martha Deane", a kind and witty grandmother figure with a Missouri-drawl, aired daily until 1940.

In 1937, she launched on the CBS radio network the first of a series of similar and successful shows, now as Mary Margaret McBride.

She interviewed figures well known in the world of arts and entertainment, and politics, with a style recognized as original to herself. She accepted advertising only for products she was prepared to endorse from her own experience, and turned down all tobacco or alcohol products.

She followed this format in regular broadcasts on
  • CBS until 1941
  • NBC (where her audience numbered in the millions) from then until 1950
  • ABC from then until 1954
  • NBC again until 1960, and
  • The New York Herald Tribune's radio broadcasts with a wider audience via syndication.

➦In 1997...the "Howard Stern Radio Show" debuted on WRXK-FM, Fort Myers, Florida.

➦In announcer/TV newsman/game show host Mike Wallace, for 38 years the main man at CBS-TV  “60 Minutes,” died at age 93.

➦In 2015...Stan Freberg, a humorist whose sprawling imagination fueled a multifaceted career that included pretty much inventing the idea of using satire in commercials, died at age 88 on Tuesday in Santa Monica, Calif.

Freberg, born Stanley Friberg in 1926. was an American author, recording artist, animation voice actor, comedian, radio personality, puppeteer and advertising creative director, whose career began in 1944. He remained active in the industry into his late 80s, more than 70 years after entering it.

He made hit comedy records, voiced hundreds of cartoon characters and succeeded Jack Benny in one of radio’s most prestigious time slots. He called himself a “guerrilla satirist,” using humor as a barbed weapon to take on issues ranging from the commercialization of Christmas to the hypocrisy of liberals.

“Let’s give in and do the brotherhood bit,/Just make sure we don’t make a habit of it,” he sang in “Take an Indian to Lunch,” a song on the 1961 album “Stan Freberg Presents the United States of America,” a history lesson in songs and sketches. Time magazine said it may have been the “finest comedy album ever recorded.”

His radio sketches for CBS in 1957 included some of the earliest put-downs of political correctness (before that idea had a name). One sketch entailed a confrontation with a fictional network censor, Mr. Tweedlie, who insisted that Mr. Freberg change the lyrics of “Ol’ Man River,” starting with the title. He wanted it renamed “Elderly Man River.”

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Friday, April 6, 2018

Trump's Attacks On Bezos: It's Personal Politics

In the past week, President Trump has turned what were sporadic and often private criticisms into a sustained volley of tweets against Amazon, often causing stock market fluctuations.

Fueling Mr. Trump’s ire is not so much Amazon, the online giant that is revamping the retail industry, but the company’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post, reports the Wall Street Jounral citing people close to the White House.

Trump sees Mr. Bezos’s hand in newspaper coverage he dislikes and is lashing out at Amazon as a proxy, these people said.

A Post spokeswoman, asked for a response, referred to quotes from the paper’s leadership in a story published Thursday. In that piece, publisher Frederick J. Ryan Jr. said that Mr. Bezos has “never proposed a story.”

“Jeff has never intervened in a story. He’s never critiqued a story. He’s not directed or proposed editorials or endorsements,” Mr. Ryan said.

Amazon declined to comment. But the company says it collects sales taxes on its own inventory in all 45 states that have this type of tax and has voluntarily started collecting taxes in some municipalities. Many small businesses selling products on Amazon’s site don’t collect sales taxes outside of the states where they are based.

Still, the president stepped up his attack on Thursday, tweeting about the company and telling reporters aboard an Air Force One flight home from West Virginia: “Amazon is just not on an even playing field. They have a tremendous lobbying effort, in addition to having the Washington Post, which is, as far as I’m concerned, another lobbyist.”

Keep Reading (Paywall)

President Will Skip WHCA Dinner

President Trump will not attend the White House Correspondents Association Dinner this year, continuing a boycott that began his first year in office, the White House announced on Friday, but the president will “actively encourage” members of his administration to go in celebration of the First Amendment.

The president did not attend the annual gala last year, amid his and his press office’s antagonistic relationships with the news media. The dinner — typically a cozy mix of journalists and politicians — last year turned into an event for press freedoms.

The NYTimes reports Trump has continued to dismiss news stories as “fake news” when he considers them unflattering to himself or to his administration. In recent days he has focused his attention on The Washington Post, its owner, Jeff Bezos, and the company that made Mr. Bezos among the richest people in the world, Amazon.

But encouraging members of the executive branch to attend the April 28 dinner, even in his absence, in support of the First Amendment is a notable change.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, will represent the Trump administration at the head table, where presidents and first ladies have sat in the past.

BIA Kelsey Reports Mixed Radio Revenue 2017 Story

The digital advertising income of U.S. radio stations had a decent rise in 2017, as the industry reported a 9.7% percent increase in online revenues, compared with a slight decline in over-the-air income of 2.0 percent, according to the first quarter edition of BIA Advisory Services’ 2018 Investing In Radio Market Report.

Overall the industry experienced a 0.2% drop from 2016 to end the year at $13.87 billion. In terms of transactions, the volume was the highest since 2011, with 752 stations being sold at a value of $3.32 billion.

Mark Fratrik
“Although local radio stations are still important players in their local markets, we do not expect the over-the-air advertising revenue of U.S. radio stations to grow much this year or in the near future,” said Mark Fratrik, SVP and Chief Economist, BIA Advisory Services. “There is an unprecedented number of new audio entertainment and information sources and new advertising platforms competing with radio, including many that are unregulated. It’s an aggressive environment that competes for audiences with local radio.”

As Fratrik explains, “The radio industry is attempting to build out digital channels to reach local communities, but they are also focused on overall platform improvements. Opportunities for local radio stations include the further adoption of HD Radio technology to transmit their programming and add subchannels for additional programming. With car manufacturers including HD Radio receivers in their new cars, radio has a fresh opportunity to impress advertisers and consumers.”

According to BIA data, as of January 2018, 211 AM and 1,980 FM stations were broadcasting an HD Radio signal.

Another strong opportunity being employed is the increased use of FM translators for rebroadcasting AM signals. Finally, other new technologies including NextRadio opens up new avenues for revenue growth.

Country Singer Kenny Chesney Visits NASH Morning Show

Ty Bentli, Kenny Chesney, Kelly Ford and Chuck Wicks

Kenny Chesney dropped a NEW song this morning called “Get Along,” and he brought it along with him when he took over Ty, Kelly & Chuck for TWO hours!

In studio, Chesney Explained the Purpose Behind His New Song "Get Along":

NPR Urges Listeners: 'Ask Alexa...'

As consumers adopt smart speakers like Apple’s HomePod, Amazon’s Echo line and Google Home, they are using the voice assistant to get NPR programming wherever they are in their homes without using mobile phones, laptops or tablets, or an actual radio.

In effect, those devices are now placed in kitchens, dens and bedrooms just like radios are — or used to be. “Four or five years ago, people were saying radio was dead,” says Meg Goldthwaite, NPR’s chief marketing officer. “It was difficult to even find one.”

Accoridng to MediaPost, Goldthwaite points to research to tell a good story. In November, 3.9% of all live streaming from member stations took place with Amazon’s Alexa; in February, the share was 13.3%. Put another way, according to NPR’s research, over the same period, the total number of listening hours to live station streams via Alexa alone grew by 242%.

On the air, NPR announcers now encourage listeners to ask Alexa or Siri to tune in NPR stations, and to ask for it either by using call letters or simply NPR. They can also use it to access NPR’s podcasts or its NPR One service that can be adjusted to a listener’s interest, or ask for quick NPR news updates. On Amazon’s Echo, simply asking Alexa to “give me the news” will connect you to an NPR newscast.

“The largest gains have been in the younger segment” of NPR’s listener base, Goldthwaite says, and overall, she says the popularity of smart speakers is also changing NPR’s perspective. “We need to figure out how to create content that is more useful” to listeners plugged into voice-assisted devices. It is, NPR is learning, a different crowd.

The quick growth of smart audio is impressive. According to an NPR survey done by Edison Research, 16% of American homes have a smart speaker as of the end of 2017. Gartner research says 75% of households will have one by 2020. That’s a faster growth curve that either smartphones or tablets after they were introduced.

Hawaii Radio: Military May Handle Missile Warnings

All four members of Hawaii’s congressional delegation urged the U.S. military Thursday to take responsibility for alerting the public about any future ballistic missile attacks, taking that role away from the state, which botched the job in January.

According to The  Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the delegation made that recommendation Thursday at a hearing held in Honolulu. The hearing, called by U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz, sought to examine the causes of a Jan. 13 false ballistic missile alert, which cast doubt on whether the state Hawaii Emergency Management Agency should handle future notifications.

“We want the origination of a notification of a missile alert to start with people who know,” Schatz said.

The false alert occurred when a state warning officer, who worked for HI-EMA, responded to a drill as if it were an actual event. The U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM), which has responsibility for notifying the state about a real missile threat, quickly verified that the Jan. 13 threat was false, but it took HI-EMA an agonizing 38 minutes to issue an all-clear.

Schatz unveiled a new bill Thursday called the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) Act of 2018, which is designed to streamline the delivery of emergency warnings.

Schatz said the legislation would examine expanding the emergency alert system to distribute warnings to audio and video streaming services delivered over the internet, he said.

Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel testified that the FCC recognizes that “ballistic missile attacks are a completely different category in the panic that ensues and also in the damage that can occur.”

“We might need to treat those differently, so for all of you who have introduced legislation or supported legislation to do so, I think that’s a really good idea,” Rosenworcel said.

CableTV News Ratings: Rachel Wins During March

For years, Fox News has remained a dominant force in cable news, consistently outdrawing both CNN and MSNBC in viewers. The last quarter was no different, with Fox News remaining the most-watched cable news channel both during the day and in prime time.

But ratings from March point to the strongest challenge to Fox News’ ratings dominance in years, thanks to the growing popularity of MSNBC host Rachel Maddow, reports

Last month, The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC averaged a total audience of 3.058 million a night, according to Nielsen ratings. It was the second-best ratings month to date for Maddow at the 9 p.m. hour, as she edged past Sean Hannity, who finished in second place with an average of 3 million viewers a night.

Maddow also beat Hannity among viewers 25 to 54, a key advertising demographic, with an average audience of 671,000. Hannity averaged 616,000 viewers in the same demo.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper, who is being replaced in the 9 p.m. hour with a new show anchored by current New Day host Chris Cuomo, finished a distant third in both total viewers and the 25-to-54 demographic.

For the quarter, Hannity defeated Maddow in total viewers, 3.196 million to 2.993 million. But Maddow won the quarter among adults 25 to 54, narrowly topping Hannity by about 2,000 viewers, 664,000 to 662,000. Not only was it Maddow’s strongest quarter to date, but she also was the only cable news host in her time slot who grew both total viewers (up 34 percent) and adults 25 to 54 (up 26 percent) compared with last year.

S-F Radio: Damon Bruce Re-Ups With KGMZ

Damon Bruce
Entercom has announced the resigning of KGMZ 95.7 FM the Game afternoon hots Damon Bruce to a new multi-year cotract.

His show will continue to air weekdays from 3-7pm PT.

Before joining the station in 2014, Bruce hosted the pre- and post-game shows for the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers. He's worked with FOX Sports Radio and Sporting News Radio, the CBS Sports Network and has also filled-in on "The Jim Rome Show."

"Damon Bruce is an iconic Bay Area sports voice who has been an important part of The GAME's surge in popularity," said Senior VP/Market Manager Gregory Nemitz. "We are beyond thrilled that with this new extension Damon will continue to keep us growing and thriving."

"I'd like to thank everyone at Entercom for continuing this fantastic relationship," added Bruce.

"Special thanks to David Field, Weezie Kramer, Pat Paxton, Greg Nemitz and Susan Larkin for their unwavering support. It is a total pleasure and privilege to work with The GAME team here in San Francisco."

Seattle Radio: Corey Dillon Joins Country KNUC

Corey Dillon
Hubbard Radio/Seattle announces their new Afternoon personality, Corey Dillon, at KNUC The New 98.9 The Bull.

Dillon said, “I am so excited to join the team at The New 98.9 The Bull and a company like Hubbard. My dream has always been to be able to entertain, inform, or draw some sort of emotion out of listeners on their drive home. I can’t imagine a better place to have that opportunity than Seattle. I want to thank Lisa Adams, Marc Kaye, and Greg Strassell for allowing me the opportunity to make my dream a reality.”

“Corey is one of America’s premier up and coming talents and I look forward to watching his amazing creativity and listener focused show dominate the Seattle market!” said Lisa Adams, Program Director of The New 98.9 The Bull.

Hubbard Radio Seattle VP/Market Manager Marc Kaye elated, “Rounding out our on-air lineup with Corey and love of radio and his unbridled enthusiasm is going to pave the way for more bull and less bulls*hit here at The New 98.9 The Bull!”

Corey spent the last 14 months doing nights at the 100.3 The Bull (KILT-FM) in Houston. Prior to that, he was at Z90 (XHITZ) doing late nights in San Diego, hosted nights at 95 Triple X (WXXX) in Burlington, Vermont and weekends on 103.3 AMP Radio (WODS) in Boston.

Colorado Springs Radio: Samantha Kumm To Manage iHM Cluster

Samantha Kumm
iHeartMedia/Colorado Springs announced that Samantha Kumm has been named Market President.

The iHM cluster includes a number of iconic brands and franchises — both broadcast and digital — including Y96.9, 96.1 The Beat, My 99.9, Sunny 106.3, 107.9 KBPI.

As Market President for iHeartMedia Colorado Springs, Kumm is charged with managing and growing all programming and sales operations. She will work closely with JoJo Turnbeaugh, Regional Senior Vice President of Programming and Ryan Clune, Regional Senior Vice President of Sales, to maximize the market’s leadership position in audience and partnership engagement. Kumm will report to Region President, Tim Hager.

“Sam Kumm is a proven leader, and she just happened to be in our backyard,” said Hager.

“Sam’s energy and passion is a perfect match for our best-in-class team. There’s no doubt that Sam will propel iHeartMedia Colorado Springs to heights that rival Pikes Peak.”

Samantha began her career in radio in 2004 in Eugene, OR with a six station cluster that included the flagship station for the University of Oregon football and basketball programs. She has 14 years of experience the industry as a seller and a Director of Sales, and will bring a wealth of promotional and sponsorship experience to increase the company’s footprint in the region.

Miami Radio: Rob Morris EXITS Entercom

Rob Morris
Rob Morris, VP of Programming and PD of Entercom CHR WPOW 96.5 FM in Miami has exited.

 APD/MD Will Calder has been named Acting PD.

Morris recently gave up PD duties at sister Country WKIS 99.9 FM when John O'Connell was named PD, in addition to his programming duties at sister Alternative WSFS 104.3 FM The Shark.

Morris arrived in December 2014 after a four-month stint as VP of Programming for CBS Radio’s former stations in Tampa.

Morris most notably spent two decades in the with Clear Channel  in Minneapolis-St. Paul market, as OM/PD of CHR KDWB 101.3 FM and OM of News/Talk KTCN 1130 AM until the end of 2011.

Shortly thereafter he was hired by crosstown CBS Radio in the newly created position of OM/PD of Country KMNB Buz’n 102.9 and Adult Hits KZJK 104.1 Jack FM.

NYC Radio: Pacifica & Empire State Building Reach Settlement

The Pacifica Foundation announced Thursday the settlement on a series of agreements that release WBAI, the organization’s New York radio station, from a court judgment as well as the last two years of its lease at the Empire State Building as of May 31, 2018.

The Foundation is also in the final stages of completing an agreement to relocate its transmission facility to a new site nearby. The agreements and move will preserve Pacifica’s service to millions of people in the New York Metro area.

The settlement, announced by the Pacifica National Board, relieves Pacifica of a $1.8 million 2017 judgment for Empire State Realty Trust (the organization that operates the Empire State Building) and against WBAI and Pacifica, additional rent and penalties accrued since the judgment was issued, and any remaining obligations that would have incurred after May 31, 2018.

Funding for the settlement was provided through a loan from the non-profit lender FJC, which includes a reserve amount that frees Pacifica from making payments for the first eighteen months of the loan and interest payments only for the following 18 months before the loan matures after three years.

The pending agreement for the new transmission site at 4 Times Square will include purchase and installation of a new transmitter, which will replace WBAI’s current obsolete and failing 28-year-old unit. Capitalization for the transmitter will be provided by the new landlord, with the cost amortized over the life of the agreement.

NYC Radio: Trump Economic Advisor To Guest On WABC

Larry Kudlow
Cumulus Media announces that Larry Kudlow, the new Director of the National Economic Council, joins 77 WABC Radio’s “The John Batchelor Show” as a regular on-air guest each Tuesday evening at 9pm ET.

Host John Batchelor’s Tuesday night conversations with Kudlow will include other colleagues and will cover topics including the economic health of the U.S. and its allies and trading partners.

Craig Schwalb, 77 WABC Program Director, said: “Kudlow and Batchelor have been working together on-air each week since 2004. It is a joy to learn that the Trump Administration is willing to make the country’s new economic adviser available to the national and global audience of “The John Batchelor Show”.”

Listen to Kudlow and Batchelor’s conversation on 77 WABC every Tuesday evening at 9pm ET, or follow the conversation on the podcast at John or on Twitter at @BatchelorShow.